Peoples Gas History
In 1855, a group of investors formed the Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company to compete against the city's first gas company, Chicago Gas Light & Coke Co. At that time, gas companies used coal to produce coke for making steel. The Coal gas byproduct was piped to heat and light homes and business as well as light street lamps. By the early 1880s as new fangled electric arch lighting took over lighting city streets, home heating during bitter midwest winters with coal or costly gas was essential.
The introduction of the new water gas method suddenly drove down gas production costs in Chicago. New companies sparked price wars that nearly ruined all the city's gas companies. At that point, the newly organized Chicago Gas Trust Company snapped up complete control of seven major Chicago gas companies, including People's Gas Light & Coke Co. This new monopoly took over control of all the gas in the city. Rates skyrocketed, outraged customers demanded action. After more than a decade of litigation and lobbying, the seven gas companies formally merged in 1897 into the Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company.
In 1920, prosperity, expansion, and rising demand ignited the need for a cheaper and more plentiful gas supply. In 1929, Peoples Gas joined in building the first long-distance, high-pressure, steel pipeline to bring cheap natural gas from north Texas to Chicago. Following World War Two, the company phased out its manufactured gas operations in favor of its natural gas transmission business. In 1963, purchased North Shore Natural Gas company to help develop more underground storage. But following the 1970s Energy Crisis, the company sold off its transmission pipeline business and in 1981, it reorganized as Peoples Energy Corporation to focus on its gas utility operations.
When Illinois deregulated its gas markets in 2002, many utilities in the U.S. realized that they needed to expand to better manage their storage and delivery capacities and costs that were coming with an expanding customer base. In February 2007, the Peoples Energy Corporation merged with Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Wisconsin Public Service Corporation to form the Integrys Energy Group. A few years later in 2015, Integrys and its operating companies, including Peoples Gas and its North Shore Natural Gas subsidiary, were acquired by Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group. Peoples Gas continues to operate as a separate utility under its parent, WEC Energy Group.
Not only do Peoples Gas employees participate in workplace giving campaigns for United Way and other organizations but the company supports nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations in communities located in areas the company serves. Through its Community Fund, Peoples Gas supports qualified charitable organizations in its service area with specific program grants.
Peoples Gas Service Territory
|Peoples Gas territory.
Areas include Evanston, Des Plaines, Niles, Skokie, Wrigleyville
|North Shore Gas territory.
Areas include Gurnee, Libertyville, North Chicago, Park City, Waukegan
Peoples Gas delivers gas to 878,000 customers in the city of Chicago and "Chicagoland" neighborhoods:
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How to Start New Peoples Gas Service
Starting service with Peoples Gas is easy and convenient. Just visit their web site to start your natural gas service. You can also sign up for your My Account online to securely receive and view your bills as well as schedule payments online anytime.
Customers can also apply to start service by calling Peoples Gas's residential customer service at 1-866-556-6001.
Be ready to supply:
- Service Address: The address where you want your service turned on or switched.
- The start date for gas service.
- Your name as the primary account holder
- Your contact information such as a phone number, e-mail address, mailing address, and previous address.
- Your employer or source of income.
In Illinois, utility companies may deny your application for service if you owe them money for the same type of service at the same address or a different address.
When you want to get your gas turned on, be sure to:
- Schedule the appointment at least 2 weeks in advance. Appointments are only available during the week during regular business hours.
- Say whether your gas meter is located inside or outside. Also be ready to provide informaton how it can be accessed.
- Say who will be present on the day of the appointment; they must be 18 years or older.
- Pets must be secured and the area around the meter must be free of clutter or debris.
Your request will be processed by the Contact Center within two business days and you will receive an email confirmation.
What to expect during your Peoples Gas appointment.
During the gas turn on proccess, the Peoples Gas technician will open the gas valve and record the meter reading numbers. They will also perform the following checks:
- The technician will then conduct a safety check to look for leaks from pipes leading the the meter.
- They will check natural gas appliances to make sure they are working properly.
- If any appliances are not operating safely, the technician will disconnect them and provide you with a form describing the problem.
You will need to hire a repair service to fix any defective appliances.
Remember that there is a small fee for an employee to read the meter and turn on the gas when establishing service.
Will I Need to Pay a Deposit?
In Illinois, no utility can require any new residential customer to pay a security deposit as a condition of receiving utility service. However, the utility can require a deposit if ONE of the following applies:
- Your previous service was disconnected for non-payment, and you did not pay the final bill.
- If you are already a customer and you had four late payments in the past 12 months.
- You are applying for new service for an address where the former customer was disconnected for non-payment and they still reside at the same address.
- Your credit score is below a predetermined minimum or you have no credit history.
- Your meter was tampered with at your previous service.
If you must pay a deposit -- Peoples Gas must notify you in writing no later than 45 days after your application for service is approved. IL law states that deposits cannot be greater than an estimated two months usage.
Customers don't need to pay the deposit all at once. You can rquest the utility to divide your security deposit into at least three installments. Peoples Gas can hold deposits for residential service for 12 months. If the customer pays their bill in full and on time for 12 consecutive months, the utility will refund the deposit plus interest.
Understand Peoples Gas Delivery and Supply Charges
In Illinois, residential customers pay for both the cost to deliver their gas as well as for the amount of gas supply that they use.
Because prices on the market are generally lower in summer, that's when we purchase much of the gas we expect customers to use during the winter. We store the gas in a storage facility and then draw from it during the winter. However, we must also purchase gas on the market to supplement our stored supply. If market prices are higher, customers' bills could be correspondingly higher.
What Are Peoples Gas PTC Charges?
When deregulation began in Illinois, all utilities that wanted to participate in consumer choice had to limit their business to natural gas delivery. However, the Illinois Commerce Commission requires these utilities to provide gas supply at a default rate to customers in their service territory who don't shop for an alternate gas supplier.
As a result, these utilities must purchase their gas supply for the default rate from natural gas companies on the wholesale market. Most gas utilities in the U.S. north buy their winter supply in summer and keep it stored underground until it's needed. They also purchase gas on the market year 'round to supplement their stored supplies.
The ICC oversees Peoples Gas default rates. Illinois gas utilities use a regulatory mechanism called the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) to compute the monthly gas supply price for their customers. Under the PGA mechanism, the price that default-service customers pay per therm of gas that they consume can change monthly. Under Illinois law, utilities can't make a profit off this per-therm charge since it is strictly a pass-through amount for the price of gas that utilities pay on the market.
The PGA includes the anticipated cost of gas for the month as well as adjustments from prior periods that are used to make up for over or under charges. The ICC does not approve these rates in advance but rather reviews them annually. It can then order gas utilities to pay refunds to customers if the utilities weren' using sound business practices to buy gas at a reasonable cost.
Peoples Gas customers can use the PGA default rate as their "Price to Compare"(PTC) when they shop for plans offered by alternative gas suppliers.
Market prices for natural gas change constantly. This is due to over all gas demand, available interstate pipeline capacity, and gas production. As a result, the Peoples Gas default rate changes month-to-month as well. In fact, Peoples Gas's default supply charge can also vary seasonally; low some months, higher the next.
All this means that with the default rate, you can never be too sure what you'll pay from one month to the next.
Peoples Gas Current PTC Residential Rates:
$0.596 per therm, expires 5/31/2022
How Much Do Peoples Gas Supply Charges Cost?
The US Energy Information Agency reports that in 2019, Illinois' residential customers used an average of about 87 therms each month.
Therefore, an average, non-winter, residential PTC bill from Peoples Gas roughly breaks down like this:
|Non-Summer Rate per 87 therms Used||Total Monthly Customer and Meter Charges||Total|
|PTC Supply Rate
(excluding other surcharges)
|Monthly Distribution Charges
(excluding riders and other surcharges)
|$0.19477 per therm||35.05||$51.99|
Understand Illinois Energy Choice
Illinois natural gas consumers are free to choose to buy gas from Alternate Gas Suppliers (AGS). These alternative suppliers shop deals with different gas suppliers on the wholesale market to offer competitive rates. As such, their rates are not controlled by ICC. This way, AGS are able to offer competitively priced fixed rate plans for a variety of term lengths.
Though it can seem confusing, shopping gas plans is an easy process. The trick is finding the one that meets your needs.
That's why retail energy suppliers in Illinois offer two types of plans:
Your Energy Usage and Your Peoples Gas Bill
While your energy usage habits are unique to you, any Illinois native will tell you that winters are long and bitterly cold while summers can be hot, hazy, and humid. While your biggest energy usage will usually follow the weather, remember that all those other domestic activities, like cooking and cleaning, also add to your monthly bill.
Most homes in Illionois rely on natural gas for heating. In 2019, 77.1 % of homes in the state rely on gas for heat. However, in recent years, national home building trends increasingly rely on electric heating systems.
Most households in the midwest do use air conditioning during the summer months. But while air conditioning use only makes up 2% of a home's total annual energy usage, Illinois residents spend on average 5% of their annual energy costs on air conditioning. About 25% of Illinois households have window or wall-mounted AC systems but about 65% have central AC.
The remainder of energy use goes to water heating, refrigeration, lighting, electronics, clothes dryers, cooking, and small appliances.
Want to learn more about your home energy usage? Peoples Gas customers can track 24 months of their home's natural gas usage plus other relevant information on each monthly bill or by logging on to your Peoples Gas account.
The most effective way to cut your energy bills is to reduce your usage by sealing your doors and windows against winter and summer drafts. Adding insulation to your attic, sealing and insulating your basement, and purchasing a programmable or smart thermostat also improve your home's energy efficiency and help cut your natural gas bills. Your utility company can provide a wealth of resources and may offer programs to help you improve your home's energy performance.
Understand Your Peoples Gas Bill
The typical four page Peoples Gas bill contains many details that can be confusing to customers. However, there's lots of useful information to help you better understand your usage and what actually goes into your Peoples Gas rates. Below, we summarize the most important items you need to understand on a sample Peoples Gas natural gas bill.
Peoples Gas Sample Bill
- A: Contact Information. Customer service and emergency phone numbers.
- B: Current Charge Summary. This shows The current bill date, your 15 digit Peoples Gas customer number, next meter read date, the current amount due, and the due date.
- C: Service Address. Customer name and service address.
- D: Accunt Summary. Here you can see your gas usage for the past 12 months. You can compare this to the charges per month graph, below.
- E: Recent Payments. This shows your payment activity since last bill, including previous balance and payment, and current charges and balance.
- F: Current Gas Usage. This section displays details about your Peoples Gas distribution and supply charges. If your generation supply comes from an Alternate Gas Supplier, then here you will see their name and their charges listed.
- G: Payment Stub - Total charges. If you mail your bill, be sure to include this payment stub with your payment.
- H: Payment Stub - Amounts. This section shows the total amount due for your Peoples Gas service. It shows your 15 digit Peoples Gas account number. Note that if your payment is late, a late fee of 1.5% will be charged to your next bill for any unpaid balance
- I: Payment Stub -Addresses. This section shows the service address and the mailing address for your payment.
Compare Peoples Gas Rates
Peoples Gas Coupons, Energy Promotions, Discounts, Rebates and Promo Codes
As your local natural gas utility, Peoples Gas offers several rebate and energy efficiency programs to help customers save money off their monthly bill by upgrading their home's energy performance. Some programs also offer money-saving incentives while others could make paying your monthly bills much easier during those expensive winter and summer months.
|Program Name||Program Type||Benefit|
|Home Energy Rebate Program||Energy Efficiency Programs||
Owners of single-family homes, two-flats and individually-metered condos, apartments and townhomes can get rebates on HVAC, water heater, thermostats, duct sealing, air sealing, and insulation.
Rebates may not exceed the project cost. Rebates run between $20 and $500. Customers must contact an approved weatherization contractor for the weatherization application.
|Home Energy Jumpstart Program||Energy Efficiency Rebate Program||
Get energy-saving products installed in your home for free. Improvements include, thermostats, water saving aerators and showerheads, pipe insulation, and LED light bulbs. Energy Star certified smart thermostats are available for purchase at a discount and include free installation.
|The Peoples Gas Energy Efficiency Program||Low Income Energy Efficiency||
This program provides energy-saving offerings specially designed for income eligible customers to help improve energy efficiency, home comfort and building safety.
The Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) provides supplemental funding for energy efficiency projects for low income residents.
If you own and occupy a vintage, single-family home built at least 50 years ago, and your home is located in the City of Chicago, the Chicago Bungalow Association can quickly get you on your way to home energy upgrades.
|Share the Warmth||Bill payment assistance||
Administered for Peoples Gas by the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA), Share the Warmth provides heating grants to limited and fixed-income households. Eligible customers can receive grants of up to $200 on their bills.
Customers can apply by contacting The Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA) .
You can also help your neighbors by contributing to the Peoples Gas Share the Warmth program through CEDA or via your MyAccount.
|Peoples Gas Payment Arrangements||Bill payment assistance||
Peoples Gas offers payment arrangements to allow residential customers to pay an overdue account balance while remaining connected.
|Limited Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)||Bill payment assistance||
LIHEAP provides both regular and emergency financial grants to eligible households to help pay heating and/or utility bills. LIHEAP benefits are funded by the federal government and can be accessed through the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA).
Qualifying customers will have direct payments made to the utility on their behalf.
|Illinois Patriot Plan||Bill payment assistance for veterans||
Under the Illinois Patriot Plan, a residence where the primary occupant is on deployment and having difficulty paying their gas bill cannot be disconnected from gas service or charged any late fees for non-payment during the deployment period. However, the customer is still responsible for the full balance on the account when the deployed primary occupant returns home.
Read Peoples Gas Reviews
Since Peoples Gas serves a midsized midwest market segment, Illinois residential customers throughout the Chicago area can get a better picture of how good a job it does by comparing it to similar sized utilities. Peoples Gas is accredited with the BBB. The utility rated high in Escalent's 2021 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement™: Residential study and performed well in J.D. Power's 2020 utility residential customer satisfaction study.
|IL Energy Ratings Score||Better Business Bureau||Escalent 2021 Utility Study||J.D. Power 2020 gas Utility Study|
of 1000 pts
of 1000 pts
How Do I Get the Cheapest Peoples Gas Rate?
Shopping for a new Peoples Gas alternative retail gas plan can seem bewildering at first. Once you understand how it works, though, it's an easy and straightforward process. That said, you should have these three things with you when you shop for gas.
- Your current bill. Your past usage per billing period can help you estimate a how much a plan might cost you each month.
- The current Peoples Gas PTC rate. Knowing the current Peoples Gas supply price lets you compare rates offered by alternative gas suppliers. This way, you can get a better feel for what suppliers are offering, for how long, and if any of their incentives make their price work for your family's need.
- Your Peoples Gas customer account number. Your 15 digit account number is at the top of your bill. Having this handy lets you sign up with an alternative gas supplier right away.
Peoples Gas Shopping Questions
The best way for a Chicago gas customer to avoid making a bad choice it to ask the right questions. That way, you can learn exactly the information that can save you money. When you shop for gas service in Illinois, always be sure to ask these important questions:
- Is the rate variable or is it fixed?
- How long does the plan contract term run?
- Does the plan include any recurring monthly charges?
- Is the rate competitive with the current Peoples Gas supply rate annual average? Remember that Peoples Gas's rate changes monthly!
- Does the supplier offer any customer incentives or rewards programs?
- What happens when the contract with the AGS expires?
Other Commonly Asked Illinois gas Questions:
Who bills me? Most suppliers include their charges on your Peoples Gas bill, but some send you their own bill. So be sure to ask.
What are the Terms of Service? In Illinois, energy choice plans must include Terms of Service that explain and identify specific charges and any fees a customer will face when they sign up for an gas plan. Not all suppliers have the same terms. That's why all Illinois energy choice customers should read and understand the terms of service and contract summary for any plan they are interested in before they sign on to the plan.
What is the Right of Rescission? According to Illinois Law, residential customers have the right to rescind or cancel an agreement with a retail natural gas supplier "within 10 calendar days after the natural gas utility processes the enrollment request".
What are early termination fees? Before 2020, switching retail suppliers before a contract ended used to involve paying early termination fees. However, Illinois gas retail customers can now terminate their contracts with alternative gas suppliers at any time without any termination fees or penalties!
Where can I find more information on my usage? Peoples Gas customers can request 24 months of their energy usage free of charge. This is most easily available through your Peoples Gas online account.
Compare Peoples Gas Rates in Your Area
Bill Questions? Gas Out? Contact Peoples Gas!
Having problems or interruptions with your Peoples Gas Service? Here's the proper people to call.
Peoples Gas Billing Problems
First thing to do is contact Peoples Gas Customer Service at 1-866-556-6001 and learn what options you have. Have your account number ready. You can also apply for payment methods online through your Peoples Gas account.
Consider Budget Billing: If you are constantly blind-sided by seasonally high bills, check out Peoples Gas's budget billing options. These payment plan average out your gas costs over the cost of the year. This ensures that customers aren't presented with unexpectedly high bills at peak-usuage times of the year.
Peoples Gas Emergencies and Outages
Natural gas leaks are extremely dangerous. Any kind of spark can ignite an explosion. Leave the area immediately if:
Don't try to find the source of the leak. Just stop what you're doing and move to a safe distance at least 350 feet away.
Call 911 immediately and then notifiy Peoples Gas at 1-866-556-6001.
Peoples Gas Service Area Providers
|NextEra Energy Services||
|Sunwave Gas & Power||
|Santanna Energy Services||
|National Gas & Electric||